James Tullis

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B/W Photograph of James Tullis

James Thomson Tullis (1842–1910), was one of four sons of John Tullis, leather manufacturer, who moved his family from Arbroath to Glasgow in 1854. James continued his father's business of 'John Tullis & Son' with his elder brothers John (the & Son' of the company name, d. 1907) and David (d. 1903). 1

The Tullises owned St Ann's Works in Glasgow, a tannery in Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, and subsidiary companies in conjunction with their numerous sons (James alone had 20 children over two marriages). 2 The firm produced leather belting, a prime means of transmitting drive, or power, to industrial machinery when most such energy was derived from steam-powered or early gas-engines. 3

James Tullis was 'a prominent man in city affairs'. He was twice a Deacon Convenor of the Trades’ House, and was chairman of the Acme Tea Chest Company and the Craigpark Electric Cable Company 4 He was also a director of such varied concerns as the Mexican Investment Corporation and the Scott-Vogt Chemical Company. 5 He sat on the powerful Clyde Trust and chaired Lanarkshire County Council’s Lower Ward Committee. 6

Tullis had the charitable interests customarily found among civic-minded Victorian businessmen. He was an official of the Angus and Mearns, and the Hide and Leather Trades Benevolent Societies, and President of St Mungo’s College of Medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. 7 Like his brothers, he was a keen art collector, possessing work by Courbet, Boudin, Hornel, McTaggart, Sam Bough, and Robert and James Campbell Noble. 8 He also commissioned several family portraits from William Quiller Orchardson. 9 Tullis was additionally chairman of the Exhibitors' Club at the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888, and served as a director of the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. 10

B/W Advertisement for James Tullis, 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 169

Notes:

1: Birth and census information, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 2 December 2012]; Nicholas J. Morgan, 'James Thomson Tullis', in A. Slaven and S. Checkland, eds, Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860–1960, Aberdeen: University Press, vol. 1, 1986, p. 469–75. One of David Tullis's daughters married William Beardmore 'Invernairn, 1st Baron', Who Was Who, A. & C. Black, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1920–2008 (online edition), Oxford: University Press, December 2007, www.ukwhoswho.com [accessed 2 December 2012]; Glasgow Contemporaries at the Dawn of the 20th Century, Glasgow: Photo Biographical Publishing Company, 1901, p. 204, with a portrait photograph.

2: Nicholas J. Morgan, 'James Thomson Tullis', and 'John Tullis', in A. Slaven and S. Checkland, eds, Dictonary of Scottish Business Biography 1860–1960, Aberdeen: University Press, vol. 1, 1986, pp. 469–75; John R. Hume, The Industrial Archaeology of Glasgow, Glasgow: Blackie, 1974, pp. 58, 197, Gazetteer F, No. 119; The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, vol. 1, The Lowlands and Borders, London: Batsford, 1976, p. 88.

3: 'Obituary: John Tullis', Engineer, 103, January–June 1907, p. 233.

4: Glasgow Herald, 9 February 1889, p. 6; 22 October 1910, p. 9; Scotsman, 13 October 1887, p. 7; 22 October 1910, p. 9.

5: Pall Mall Gazette, 5 July 1890, p. 7; Glasgow Herald, 29 June 1896, p. 11; 2 July 1896, p. 2.

6: Scotsman, 5 May 1897, p. 13; Glasgow Herald, 22 October 1910, p. 9; Glasgow Herald, 17 May 1893, p. 9; Scotsman, 24 December 1895, p. 6.

7: Glasgow Herald, 11 December 1880, p. 7; 18 March 1886, p. 4; 22 October 1910, p. 9.

8: Scotsman, 3 March 1917, p. 11; 17 March 1917, p. 6; 31 March 1917, p. 6.

9: Scotsman, 18 February 1898, p. 10; 30 December 1911, p. 6; 17 March 1917, p. 6.

10: Scotsman, 13 November 1888, p. 7.Glasgow Herald, 2 February 1885, p. 9; 9 February 1889, p. 6.